Bitola Old Town
Bitola Old Town Reviews
A clean, walkable Balkan city Jun 19, 2016
If Sarajevo is Istanbul in miniature, then Bitola is Sarajevo in miniature, minus the traffic of Istanbul and the war damage of Sarajevo. All of the major sites of Bitola can be visited in a day, and exploring the old city can be done in half a day.
I would start at the Clock Tower, or Saat Kula, right in the middle of town in a park. The symbol and pride of Bitola, it was built in the 1830's. You can go inside and take the stairs to the top.
From there, head northeast to the Stara Carsija (Old Bazaar), which is similar to the Stara Carsija in Sarajevo. Not as pretty and touristy, though you can see the Ottoman influence in the architecture. It's more of a functioning market to modern Macedonians with restaurants, cafes, a thriving market, and a few shops.
After shopping around the Stara Carsija, head back to the Clock Tower, and south into Sirok Sokak, the main artery of activity in Bitola. A great location for people-watching, enjoying a midday coffee, or an evening meal. The whole avenue can be walked in about 20 minutes, so it's worth stopping at a cafe to savor the atmosphere.
At the end of Sirok Sokak, there is the Bitola Museum, the City Park, and you can walk a little further to reach the ruins of Heraclea.
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